The CCHS Criminal Justice Club’s SWAT team took first place at the district contest and hopes to bring home a first place award on Saturday at the state level. Team members Jayson Stanley, Brendon Thompson, Jason Trevino, Andrew Sowder, Nathan Tyler and Deonjrae Hunt have worked tirelessly to hone their skills for this extremely competitive event.

Cove criminal justice Students hope to lock-up the competition

By Sarah Lerchenfelt

Special to Leader-Press

Stop in the name of the law. That may not be exactly what law enforcement officials announce when they are demanding a suspect to cease and desist, but members of Copperas Cove High School’s Criminal Justice Club and the Police Explorers Program know that they must announce their presence to a suspect.

CCHS students interested in the field of law enforcement have prepared for their state competition at Judson High School in San Antonio this weekend after swatting the competition at the district level.

During the district competition, students had a chance to listen and review all the criticism given by the judges on each event. They used that constructive criticism to improve their skill, consistency and correct any mistakes they made at the district level. Training days were posted every week for different events including Defensive Tactics, Foot Pursuit, Obstacle Course and SWAT, Domestic Disturbance and Ideal Prisons. The students trained non-stop over different procedures and scenarios in order to prepare them for any situation during the competition.

The SWAT team has taken advantage of constant training with multiple experts and coaches including Copperas Cove Police Officer William Hughes and CCHS Teacher Patrick Zangarine.

In the Ideal Prison category, partners Rebecca Boyd and Matthew Smith have worked together every week to make their idea more elaborate and efficient.

“I believe our greatest disadvantage is not knowing the other competitors,” Smith said. 

The feedback from the judges gave Boyd the inspiration needed to take her performance to the next level.

“It made me realize I need to stop procrastinating and step up my game. We are prepared to do all we can,” she said.

Police Explorer Program Member Chanita Kirmanidou, will compete in several events and said she is confident her training will pay off.

“To prepare for competition, I have actively participated in training, focusing on my events, Defensive Tactics and Foot Pursuit, as well as other events like SWAT,” she said. “Officer Hughes has trained us every day after school leading up to state competition, and if we place at state, then the training will even continue longer.” 

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